It's been a fortnight since the Beast from the East swept in during our Great Migration.
As with every move, something vital isn't in the box I thought it was, my favourite (insert household item) doesn't fit, & there's a list of niggling repairs to compile for the agent.
But with the snow gone, every afternoon, you'll find me in the garden.
1. Potting shed.
Our previous houses've had multiple outbuildings - sheds, garages, sometimes even an apple store or outdoor flush toilet. Our new place had this:
|A bit of fencing propped on top of a slide.|
But alas, this fine structure wasn't for us - the landlord hauled it away. (The proper shed in the photo belongs to my neighbour. Note the terraces for later.)
|Levelling the base area.|
Our potting shed'll go in the same place. I chose plastic over a cement or stone base so we can take it with us when we move (hopefully to our forever home, this time).
There's about 4" of loose, dry topsoil, then paving stones underneath. Might've saved a quid or two if I'd poke around a bit first. On the other hand, not sure how even the pavers are. Once I realised they were there, I worked on smoothing the topsoil rather than digging them out.
A weed barrier goes under this grid, but for now, it's easier to put it in place & get it level, rather than measuring & remembering the math.
2. Abscondment explained.
Besides abandoning their survivalist's shed, the amount of stuff left in the house suggests the previous tenants did a runner. When levelling the shed space, I found critical evidence to explain this dead-of-night departure.
|The murder weapon.|
My family remains unimpressed. One callous soul even reminded me of the bones I dug up in a previous garden, how they also set my mind to murder. Turned out, I'd unearthed someone's dead dog.
Imagination's like a muscle, you know. Gotta exercise it.
We've never had a terraced garden before. It'll probably become our veg patch, but for the moment, I keep staring at it like a love sick puppy, taking in the details. Here's a little beauty growing in the masonry. It smells of anise so I reckon it's fennel.
|Growing in the cracks.|
Under one of the trees at the top of the terrace, I found a hollyhock that looked as if someone had yanked it out of the ground & flung it there. It was still alive, so I tossed it in a trug that had melted snow in the bottom to rehydrate the thing, then forgot about it.
The next day it was still alive, so I stuck it in a nearly empty bag of compost, splinted its broken stem with a Magnum stick & some packing tape, then propped it against the fence. We'll see how it goes.
|Patient's recovering well.|
5. Rt Hon Lady BossyBoots
Your one appeared in our back garden unannounced. A bit forward for a Brit, but not for an Appalachian, so no offense taken. She asked what trees were in my potted forest.
Before I can open my mouth, she spews a list of her own trees, & why's that fig back here - move it to the front garden, do you feed it there's your mistake, neverfeedafigit'llneverfruit, they love to suffer & that hollyhock's just a wild (dismissive flick of the hand), tiny (grimace) green flower, you won't like it, I have purple hollyhocks I'll give you, granny's bonnets, that's what you need, did you know your house was a cannabis factory?
I'd hoped for murder, but a grow house. That'll do.
And she was IN my back garden, Mr Propagator, so she counts as one of my Six.
6. Kickass Compost
Thus explained, the 10 bags of this stuff the last occupants left beside the back door. Rumour has it the entire crawl space under the house is full of it. I've not found access to the crawl space yet, but if I do, I'm going in.
Apparently, it's an hydroponic mix. I've been researching how to use it in the veg patch. My initial searches included the word 'cannabis' which led me to blocked sites. Might have to have a word with our resident hacker.
Until then, does anyone know whether this stuff needs cut to work in the garden or can it be used full test?
|Cuttings still hanging in there.|
It's been an interesting move.
Best of all, the garden feels good. A few weeks ago in this very blog, I let loose on hating my garden . I was only able to do that because we were leaving the damnable place.
Now this week . . . well, during one of my rests, I sat looking at the witch hazel, the last of its crinkly red flowers drying out for seed. I thought, move that to 11:00 & it'll be perfect.
So I did. And it was. This garden feels good.
I'm not alone in this feeling. If you want to read more gardeners in love with their patch, head over to The Propagator for his & other stories by the half dozen.
See you next week.